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A Life & Family Update & Getting Back to Basics

  November 6

This post may contain affiliate links.

Over the weekend, I got an email from a longtime reader who said she missed hearing about my family and the twins. She felt a little disconnected from me somehow. Where once I used to write about the challenges of motherhood and wrangling kids while building this business, now the blog seemed, well, too business-y.

I admit; I spent a long time thinking about what she said. I talked to my husband about it a lot, and I came to the conclusion that she is right.

Somewhere along the way I got so focused on building this business that I forgot to tell you stuff. I forgot to tell you that my dishwasher, air conditioning, and hot water heater broke in the first week of owning my first ever house.

I forgot to tell you that I really struggled with my move to Michigan. I spent the first few weeks here thinking it was a massive mistake, but now I think everything will be okay.

I’m still suffering with bouts of anxiety and depression that have lingered since having my twins. I thought I had conquered most of it but the move and adjusting to our new pace of life sometimes throws me back down the rabbit hole.

I forgot to tell you that one twin is potty trained now while the other could seem to care less. I also forgot to tell you that it has taken months and months and months to potty train this kid. Oh how I wish I was the mom blogger who could give you advice on how to do this in 3 days. We are not those people.

I didn’t tell you that I had to fire a babysitter after she didn’t show up on a day I had 5 radio interviews in a row. During the last radio interview, I had to lock myself out of my house while my kids banged on the window and cried for me. It was my worst performance of work/life balance ever.

I didn’t tell you that I’m still trying to get used to The Hubs’ new 90 hour a week work residency schedule. Sometimes I sit in my bathroom bathing the kids at night by myself completely exhausted and crying and wondering if this whole med school thing was even worth it.

The transition to residency has been hard on me, hard on hubs, hard on my marriage, hard on the kids, and even hard on the dog. I can see why there are such poor statistics on medical marriages actually lasting through this phase. It’s extraordinarily difficult, and the only way we handle it is to keep talking about how great things will be in the future.

I haven’t told you that I’ve been trying hard to spend time building up my own site instead of writing for so many other clients. I’ve spent countless hours trying different marketing strategies and building new income streams over here on this blog, and some of them have been a flat out failure. I estimate I’ve wasted around $4,000 on stuff that just plain did not work, and it sucks.

Getting new sponsors on this site helps my efforts to grow this blog and spend more time here, but then if I do that too much, the blog comes off as too sponsored. I want you to know I care about my readers a lot and that I still maintain that I don’t promote anything I don’t believe in on here. I also want you to know that running a 7 year old successful blog takes a lot of work and just like TV shows and magazines, sometimes ads help it to stay alive. I am trying to find a better balance though. I hear you and your feedback, and I’m taking note.

Oh, have I told you how tall the twins are? They tower over their little friends who are the same age as them. I’m not surprised since their dad is 6’3″. They love having a back yard too. They love watching the trash truck every week. They love going to the park. They ask about their dad all day long. They miss him, and I miss him.

Have I told you I finally have my own office now? I feel like I have, but I haven’t shown it to you yet. I want to make it beautiful and magazine worthy but I’m also paying $3,000/month in student loan bills, which for the record, is exactly how much The Hubs’ brings in every month. Yay, residency income. But hey, it’s something!

Since 100% of Hubs’ income goes towards student loan payments, that means that my mortgage, food, and all other bills rely on my roller coaster of a business income. I could make $15,000 a month or $2,000 a month, both of which have happened this year. It’s scary, and it keeps me up at night trying to make sure everything stays afloat. Sometimes if I have a phenomenal month, I want to do something like buy a new outfit but I don’t because I don’t know if the next month is going to be bad or not or if someone will forget to pay me.

Given that I have to feed my kids, I’ve been having an extremely frugal 3rd and 4th quarter, trying to curb both business and personal spending to make sure we are okay. I’m happy that I put $50 a month in a Christmas savings account all year and so I have $800 saved for holiday expenses – such a relief.

Overall, I still am hard working and am still committed to what I do, but sometimes I just feel like I could go and work in an office again and it would just be easier…. Then I come downstairs and give my kids a huge hug and kisses in the middle of the day and realize I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Just like you, I’m having good days and bad days. I’m trying to succeed in life but sometimes failing. I yell and scream at my kids just like the rest of you. I go to bed sad sometimes and other times I’m overwhelmed with how lucky I’ve been in life thus far.

This blog has always been a place to share my life, my updates, my dreams, and my family. It’s always been my goal for my readers to have a friend, to know they aren’t alone when they read my words. Sometimes there will be sponsored posts on here, but it’s because this is my job and I’m working with great companies as we together try to spread their message. It’s also my job to inform, entertain, and just be here for all of you.

So please stay here with me as I get back to basics, as I catch all of you up on the things that have been happening here. It’s not perfect and sometimes it’s not pretty, but just as it always has been, it’s very real.

 

xo,

Cat

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47 responses to “A Life & Family Update & Getting Back to Basics

  1. I just wanted to let you know that I understand.

    Moving to Wyoming for my husband’s work has meant many days of crying and hugging my daughter and praying that it is going to be okay. Honestly, a year later, and I am still not sure. And that anxiety and depression associated with kid-having, I’m so there too. Luckily, I’m finally getting some help, but it’s been a rough 18 months. I hope you find some peace soon as well. We mothers can only hope for that.

    1. Thanks Michelle! I know it’s hard to feel emotionally bad post-kids because you feel like you should be elated all the time. It’s a work in progress every day!

  2. Thanks for the update! I can imagine how rough the transition is. I’ve been dealing with something similar. The move to LA has been good emotionally, but tough financially as I was the sole income earner for a few months. I feel like I’ve hit the terrible twos in business and dealing with so many growing pains. Despite a lot of professional success, personally it’s been a tough year. Sending hugs.

    1. Right! I know it’s really expensive to live there too. Thanks girl. I really appreciate it!

  3. This was so relatable, Cat. We are also in a transition with moving back to the South and with our careers. I’ve found myself having similar moments and feelings that you described. We have moved enough for me to realize that this too shall pass but boy is it hard when you’re in the day-to-dayness of it all. And there is nothing in the world that can equal both questioning your sanity and having your heart burst with love like having children can. Thank God for wine.

    1. Thanks Sarah! And you described it perfectly. Kids are challenging and awesome all at the same time. Also, duh, wine. 😉

  4. I really appreciate the raw honesty Cat. Although I don’t wish a struggle on anyone, it’s also nice to know you are not alone with whatever struggle a reader might be going through. Although a lot of my roller coaster life has gone away with a full time job, it is NOT without its own challenges and adjustments. Thank you for keeping it real, and know you have people out there who love and support you!

    1. Thank you, my friend! I am sure after freelancing for so long a day job is definitely an adjustment. I’m really happy for you though and I think it’s a great fit.

  5. Oh Cat! Residency is definitely one of the toughest times to get through in the profession. I guess it’s kind of like an initiation of sorts. Though, once you get through it you can put it behind you…and move on. 🙂

    I completely remember this. All of the residents were counting down the days…literally. They even had a countdown calendar. haha…

    We’ve all had our ups and downs. It’s ridiculous the types of days I’ve had in my niche of real estate investing. It can drive a person crazy especially since I’m always dealing with people. Ack!!

    Thanks for the update, hang in there! 🙂

    1. Oh I know you can relate girl!! I always love reading about your adventures, even though they can be hard sometimes!

  6. Hey girl! I appreciate the update on life in general. I know we both get caught up in all the things we are “supposed” to do with our blogs sometimes just to see the traffic numbers. When you get caught up in that, it can be hard to take a step back. Good for you for doing so and putting some thought into things. Getting back to the basics may be just what the doctor (your hubs, haha) ordered!

  7. I love this kind of post because are REAL and we’re are human a nd imperfect sodon’t worry you are in good company… God bless you dailly

  8. Darling Cat,
    This is the you we care about. This is the you whom we love. And your struggles are a ray of light for everyone because you know how to write about them so that others know when they are go through this sort of thing that they are not failing, just going through a rough patch. You inspire.

    We love you for your courage and your sticky-to-it-ivity (or however one spells that). So keep posting and we’ll keep reading and supporting you because of who you are.

  9. I love this post, Cat! I so appreciate how honestly you’re sharing it all here, and I think we all get that you have to do certain things when it’s *your living* (and *especially* when you’re supporting your whole family!). So don’t change the business focus — just keep us posted on your family life sometimes. 😉 And hooray for residency income — I’m sure that’s hugely welcome after all these years of medical school only ever costing money!

    1. Ah I know. It’s a hard balance. And I know, it’s so nice someone around here has a steady income – feels great!!

  10. This is such an amazing post. Seriously, all I want to do is bake you brownies and hug you. (But seriously- I’m a terrible cook so maybe that’s a bad idea).

    You constantly amaze me… I know it’s hard right now and it really will get easier and you’re doing the right thing.

  11. Hello Cat,
    I can’t thank you enough for the inspiration to blog about raising kids from a parent of grown kids and former Preschool teacher. I have so much experience and knowledge from an educational stand point. I have 4 grown children, 2 foster children, most are married, I have 20 grandchildren and owned an infant toddler program and 2 preschools, ( one in home & one commercial) up until now I was struggling for content. I think it’ll be a good twist. So as questions arise, email me. I’d love to be a guest writer on your blog. Especially if any of your readers have questions.

    http://www.gypsysoulranchonline.com

    Blessings on your entire family!
    A Newly inspired gypsy soul…Jaimie

    1. Aw thank you so much Jaimie! Sounds like you have great experience! I’ll check out your site!

  12. Cat, first off, I’m so impressed with just how connected your followers are to you, and especially that one cared enough to draw your attention to what they were missing from you. And you responded to their need!! So many are in the same boat, or have walked a mile in those shoes. I used to joke that I should have married a dr, because my fav hubby was working 80 weeks, all towards achieving his goal of becoming an owner/operator. There was also a vet high divorce rate among this group, but having worked in the business, I knew how involved it was. You know the rest of the story😊 You, too, have an advantage , having grown up in such an intense medical background. But factor in providing for twins, student debt,etc, your voice is a life raft for others, and maybe for you…No Mom Left Behind❤️

  13. Girl, being a partner to a resident is hard. I feel you. My boyfriend is in his last year of surgical residency and we are counting it down – July 2017 won’t be here soon enough. If you can survive this, you can probably survive just about anything. As “they” say – “this too shall pass.”

  14. Bless your heart!!!!!! Two years will pass fast. You will be glad you endured this in the long run. I am extremely proud of you and all your accomplishments!!!!! Always knew you would be successful. Glad you spent time with us when you attended LSMSA !!!!!

  15. I’ve also missed the family updates, but totally understand that your family has been through a lot of big changes and I’m sure you’re busy. Thanks for checking in and letting us know what’s really going on. I admire your willingness to sacrifice for your husband’s medical career (and his sacrifices too) because I appreciate good doctors so much! Hang in there!

  16. Hi! Just wanted to let you know you aren’t alone! My hubs is in residency too and I struggle with anxiety/depression after having both my children. I also work and know what you are going through. Hang in there! Thanks for posting about your struggles; we all go through them 🙂

  17. WOW! I LOVE IT! This is an AMAZING and oh-so-real-I-feel-anxious-right-there-with-you post! I truly admire the mom, wife, and business woman you are and wish I were able to handle just half of what you do. That stinks about the babysitter and your husband having to work so much, but all of the hard work will pay off in the end.
    Keep your chin up and know we are all cheering you on. Challenges create champions! Thanks again for sharing your journey with us.
    (I also100% agree with all of the comments and love the mantra No Mom Left Behind. 🙂

    1. Aw thanks Shannon!! And I love your quote “challenges create champions” — I’m going to have to put that on a bulletin board somewhere haha!

  18. Life isn’t easy as we all know. You are juggling a lot of responsibilities and will be for some time to come. I also know that you have it within you to continue to make it all work somehow and persevere. Know that I’m less than 90 minutes away by car if you ever need anything – seriously!

  19. Holy cow! I need therapy after reading all the stuff that you are having to deal with! LOL Don’t worry; you’re not losing me as a reader. Life is cracra and running a blog is hard work! I’m just re-starting blogging this past year and still not bringing in any $ so if people get cranky about sponsored posts they just don’t understand it takes blood, sweat, and tears to make it happen. They wouldn’t expect picking up a magazine with no ads right? And ads in magazines are for things that can help the readers. Same thing for blogs. We have to pay the bills to keep our sites up not to mention feeding our families – hosting fees, email servicing, social media management site, and so much more!
    Love your blog and appreciate all you do!!! Good luck with all the stress you have in your life!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Haha thanks for the sweet comment Cindy, and awesome that you re-started blogging! I’m going to go check out your site!

  20. I know I definitely enjoy reading articles when the author shares their life with the reader. It makes me feel like I really get to know them and connect with them more than the standard do this or that with money article. I look forward to reading more posts from you in the future 🙂

  21. I remember when my kids were little and my husband was traveling, I would feel resentment for being the one stuck at home. Even though I knew it wasn’t a choice he made, it was paying the bills, it was really hard when he was gone. I missed him, and, at times, I felt stuck.

    So many transitions all at once can be so difficult. Hang in there and take some time for yourself when you get the chance. And, thank you, for your open and honest update!

  22. Hey Cath,

    I saw this pin on my group board and checked it out! I forgot you had twins like me! We are so a like 🙂 My twins are 3.5 and two days ago they dropped their day nap.

    A unicorn died in my soul…

    It’s hard now. I usually write when they sleep but now I have to wait until the end of the day to do any client work. I’m trying my hardest to wake up before the family, but that’s hard when I’m momster in the morning 🙂

    I know what you’re going through is just a phase and you’ll come out stronger than ever before!

    1. Aw thanks!!! And omg I can’t imagine them dropping a nap!!! I totally hear ya. I will hang on to those naps as long as possible!

  23. The grass is always greener, right? I think there are a lot of bloggers that are too focused on clicks and affiliate sales so much so that I have stopped reading. But at the same time, I think we all realize that this site IS your business so you can’t just be a diary of your life. I always enjoy reading your posts, especially as a mother of a young boy (8 months) myself who has only lived in our house for a year. Everything will work out! Remember these are the “lean years”. I think all parents have these times… I have a coworker who would tell me of struggles she had as a young family. My parents too–they had some seriously lean times when I was a baby and talking to my dad and mom about their struggles really put mine into perspective (really, they had it a lot harder). But it gets better. And if you keep having $10,000 months, perhaps you won’t have to worry about any more lean months.

    1. Hi Tara! Thanks so much for the comment!! And yes, hopefully the years won’t be lean forever!

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